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Store Bought Hard Boiled Eggs??!!!

p
Philly Ray Feb 16, 2009 05:20 PM

I was in my local supermarket today and I happened to glance up and notice a package of "Peeled Cooked Eggs". Have cooking skills deteriorated so much that a person is now unable to simply boil water, put the eggs in the pot, and then peel them afterwards???

My friends and I used to tell a joke that you could tell the bachelors in the supermarket because they would be the ones asking for the aisle where the toast was located. I now fear that this might not only come true, but it will be offered pre-buttered as well.

On a similar note, my niece is taking a culinary course in high school. I asked her what she had cooked recently and she said "waffles". Then she told me that up until now, she just thought that waffles came in a box.

  1. Caroline1 Feb 19, 2009 08:16 PM

    I know I'm weird, but I cannot look at a pre-peeled hard boiled egg in a store without wondering where it has been and whether someone dropped it on the floor, then just picked it up and stuffed it in the package? I never have such thoughts about cartons of cubed watermelon or veggie trays or even over an open olive bar. So what's wrong with me? And I also look at the eggs and wonder if the whites are going to be rubbery. But who knows, maybe some day I'll give them a try? I hope not, but....?

    20 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1
      kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 08:30 PM

      I never would of trust me ... but I did and actually they were good. Not rubbery and quite well done. Not something I would do but I was desperate and was impressed. Probably not do it again ... but it was desperation.

      1. re: kchurchill5
        Caroline1 Feb 19, 2009 09:02 PM

        Yeah, but in your case it was a reasonable and valid choice. Much better than a Popsicle!

        1. re: Caroline1
          lynnlato Feb 20, 2009 02:32 AM

          Caroline - it's likely that you already have eaten one and just were unaware it was a pre-cooked egg. Many restaurants use them.

          I'm getting a kick out of those posters who view these eggs w/ such condescension and disdain - like they are some illegal substance (crack?). "I tried it once, but I swear I'll never do it again" - HAAA!

          Really, most foods these days have varying degrees of processing. Most of us don't slaughter our own pigs, cows and chickens, collect our own eggs, make our own peanut butter (although maybe we should), etc. So, why is it such a big deal to buy a boiled egg? I don't think it rises to the same level as crustables, lunchables and all those other pre-packaged, processed meals. Maybe I'm just in denial?

          1. re: lynnlato
            k
            kmcarr Feb 20, 2009 04:45 AM

            LL, mentioning restaurants using precooked HB eggs brought back a memory from my youth. I worked in a chain family style restaurant/ice cream shop. One of the menu items was a chef's salad which included slices of hard boiled egg. Our precooked eggs came as an 18 inch long, 1.5 inch diameter cylinder. When sliced this resulted in perfectly circular slices of hard boiled eggs.

            At first I was agog at what type of mutant hen could possibly have laid such an egg. It was explained to me that the whites and yolks of several eggs are separately blended and then combined in a cylindrical centrifuge and cooked while spinning.

            1. re: kmcarr
              monku Feb 20, 2009 05:02 AM

              I remember those. Tasted just like a hard boiled egg.
              see pic:
              http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh...

              1. re: monku
                Samalicious Feb 20, 2009 05:48 AM

                Weird! I wonder how many feet of these eggs I've eaten in restaurants without a clue they were "product."

                1. re: monku
                  alkapal Feb 20, 2009 01:03 PM

                  neat! how is the texture? identical to a hard boiled egg? well, why not, i guess! just thought the mixing would affect texture somehow.....

                  1. re: monku
                    n
                    nvcook Feb 20, 2009 02:39 PM

                    OMG! Franken eggs!

                  2. re: kmcarr
                    lynnlato Feb 20, 2009 09:17 AM

                    Wow! Now that's something I've never seen. It's amazing what goes on in the BOH that we are blissfully unaware of. LOL

                  3. re: lynnlato
                    Caroline1 Feb 20, 2009 06:54 AM

                    Oh, I've been aware of "pre-cooked" eggs in the fast food industry for years! And also aware that the little yellow and white beasties are factory assembled and immediately packed into cryovac tubing prior to cooking, so if anyone drops a 20 pound egg on the floor, no problem!

                    I'm undoubtedly a bit old fashioned about a lot of things. I believe that if someone wants to do an impression of Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, he really should boil his own eggs! And I'm sure it's a personal idiosyncrasy, but I cannot bring myself to order a quesadilla in any restaurant. How hard is it to boil an egg? How hard is it to make a quesadilla? I guess I also don't order oatmeal or Cream of Wheat in a restaurant. Some things are simply do-it-yourself or go without. I know. I'm weird. <sigh> Really really weird.

                    But if I were pressed to buy a Popsicle or buy a hard boiled egg or go without lunch, I'd buy the hard boiled egg. And grumble to myself later. '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1
                      lynnlato Feb 20, 2009 09:24 AM

                      LOL! You're hardly weird, Caroline! You know we all adore you. :) Actually, I'm the weirdo. Perhaps we're kindred spirits? LOL

                      You're absolutely right... it's not difficult at all to boil an egg. I guess we all pick and choose are short cuts what short cuts we can live with. For the record, crustables and lunchables are against my food religion. :)

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        Caroline1 Feb 20, 2009 01:35 PM

                        Oh my goodness. I bought a Lunchable once. Or was it a crustable? Anyway, whatever it was it was crackers and cheese and some sort of lunch meat packed in a plastic container with child-attracting illustrations on the label. I got it in the lunch meat section of the supermarket. Except for one cracker, one mini-lunch meat slice and one mini-cheese slice, it all went in the trash! It tasted as if it had been hermetically sealed in plastic about 1,000 BCE, but I knew that wasn't possible because those people had the sense to live life without plastic! Who would feed that stuff to their children? Lunchables indeed!

                        1. re: Caroline1
                          a
                          Ali Feb 20, 2009 02:30 PM

                          Hey now! I used to beg for those lunchables!! Forget homemade lunches, I asked for a lunchable every time there was a field trip. They were awesome and a whole heck of a lot of enjoyment, which is more than I can say now when I've forgotten to pack lunch and spend $10-15 on something mediocre at best.

                          Certain things, you just need to be a kid to understand. (For example, I still can't understand why Lucky Charms used to be my cereal of choice, but I recall going through boxes of the stuff. Tried a box a few years ago; wanted to die when all that sugar hit my mouth.)

                          Per the eggs: I've bought a bag at Trader Joe's once. They were totally convenient and perfectly boiled, the perfect quickie breakfast. In fact, I'll probably buy another bag tonight for deviled eggs to munch on while prepping for tomorrow's chicken and dumplings meal. :)

                          1. re: Ali
                            lynnlato Feb 20, 2009 04:07 PM

                            LOL! U have to admit, lunchable are disgusting - come on! But you're right about the kid factor. I can remember getting, and loving, Swanson's fried chicken meals as a kid. With the peas or corn and the warm apple dumpling or brownie for dessert. I thought it was so cool that it cooked in it's own little tray. Pitiful.

                            My 7 yr old son walked by the lunchables the other day and said, Mommy, can't we just get one, pleeeeease?" I said, "no and take a long, hard look cuz we'll never bring one home". LOL Little does the poor kid know, he'd hate them. Maybe I should let him try one so he can realize how nasty they are.

                            1. re: lynnlato
                              a
                              Ali Feb 21, 2009 06:34 AM

                              Oh I'm not dismissing that they're disgusting - fake meat, fake cheese, crackers that doesn't get soggy despite the moist environment, etc. It all reeks of scary. However, even today, the thought of a lunchable brings me all sorts of joy, and like those Lucky Charms that makes me sick, I'd probably eat lunchables with relish (and I almost bought one yesterday thanks to this thread).

                              My mother (like you) was also anti-lunchable, so I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I've [worn her down enough and] had one. That doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in my heart. Makes you wonder how I found myself around here as an adult, though, no? :)

                              1. re: Ali
                                lynnlato Feb 21, 2009 12:45 PM

                                LOL! You're so right. And I think it's fair to say that most of us loved those things when we were young.

                                Hey, all of us have little dark non-chowish cravings... as evidenced by the many threads about dried ramen, fast food, etc. Sometimes you just have to go there! :)

                      2. re: Caroline1
                        kchurchill5 Feb 20, 2009 02:56 PM

                        15 min and out the door with my dish. Couldn't of done with out the little wonder eggs, LOL. Haven't bought them since, but they saved me. A girlfriend of mine buys them all the time, but yet ... I'm not sure if she honestly knows how to cook one :)

                        1. re: kchurchill5
                          Whosyerkitty Feb 20, 2009 03:21 PM

                          If I want eggs around, I just make some. They will keep for several days. Believe me, around Easter I run out of ideas for them and we get sick of them, so some have stayed around for awhile.

                          1. re: Whosyerkitty
                            Caroline1 Feb 20, 2009 03:39 PM

                            LOL! Two Easters ago, when my grandson had just turned four, my son called me for directions on how to color Easter eggs. He thought it would be a fun project to do with my grandson. When I talked to him again on Easter afternoon I asked how the egg dying went. "Oh, the egg dying went fine. But when I wanted one for egg salad this morning, I had to boil one because Michael will not allow anyone to touch his Easter eggs! He has them ALL lined up on the window sill in his room!" I think my son distracted him about a week and a half later while my daughter-in-law sneaked in and threw the eggs away.

                            1. re: Caroline1
                              Whosyerkitty Feb 20, 2009 04:53 PM

                              Awww... it IS a fun but messy project.

              2. kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 08:06 PM

                I bought them once. I had about 15 minutes after I got home to make deviled eggs which I promised with crab, my crab was done but was supposed to be home much earlier. So I used them. Then worked fine and tasted fine ...

                Otherwise I probably would never buy them. I was desperate. It did save me and my appetizer. I guess that is why they make these things.

                If I had an extra 15 min, I would of done my own.

                1. s
                  smtucker Feb 19, 2009 07:58 PM

                  These eggs can be served with the pre-cooked bacon! Another amazing feat of science.

                  1. n
                    NinaS Feb 19, 2009 12:18 PM

                    I just bought a package of 2 hard-boiled eggs (shell on) for $1.39.

                    Here's the story.... I went in to a 1:00pm meeting thinking that it wouldn't take as long as it did. I just got out 10 minutes ago (3:05pm here in Chicago) and found myself very hungry. The cafeteria in my building is already closed, and I don't feel like going outside in the cold weather. However, the gift shop in my building is open. I walked in and saw that chips and candy are my only options. While perusing the refrigerated drinks, I noticed that there were also hard-boiled eggs. I chuckled to myself as I brought them to the register, remembering this thread. The way I figured it, it is VERY expensive for just 2 eggs, but a VERY cheap and quick lunch in the scope of things!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NinaS
                      Sam Fujisaka Feb 19, 2009 05:19 PM

                      Yhattadaadaaha .., the difinitive statement and the winner and end of this thread! NinaS, love it!

                    2. j
                      jillybean38 Feb 18, 2009 11:52 AM

                      I pretty much agree with every point made on this topic. I have days (though not often)when everything including the bread is made from scratch and I also have days (more often than not) when I have less than 20 min to make dinner, feed 3 kids and get out the door to the next lesson, game, etc. We are all so busy these days convenience food has become a necessity at times.

                      So I confess I am a regular user of baby cut carrots, but I draw the line at pre cooked and peeled hard boiled eggs!

                      1. Candy Feb 18, 2009 09:59 AM

                        i was shocked and astounded to see 1 lb. frozen packages of rice, white, brown, and sticky in my local grocery. At $2+/ package that is pretty expensive rice.

                        1. c
                          charmedgirl Feb 18, 2009 09:46 AM

                          I'm really shocked by some of the positive comments in this thread. Trust me, I have no problem with buying convenience foods, pre-packaged/pre-cut this or that, and while I'm not a huge processed food buyer, there are some things I just can't do without but .....

                          My mom bought these eggs one time before a family cookout and used them to make deviled eggs. Absolutely. Disgusting. Rubbery whites, chalky yokes, virtually no flavor except for this weird chemically after taste.... I made her toss the whole tray. I would have been embarrassed to serve them. Maybe it was that particular brand?? I can't imagine those things ever passing for fresh hardboiled eggs.

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: charmedgirl
                            Morganna Feb 18, 2009 11:08 AM

                            *shrug* The ones I've had have never been like that. They've been well-boiled and tasty. Not rubbery at all.

                            1. re: Morganna
                              lynnlato Feb 18, 2009 02:00 PM

                              Yes, agreed Morganna. I've not had a problem w/ dried yolks and rubbery whites - but the ones I buy are locally packaged.

                              Oh, for the record, I can boil an egg. It's a convenience factor and a choice. How lucky are we to have both.

                              On a recent trip to Trader Joe's I saw packaged mirepoix. It looked old, slightly browned and not at all appetizing - but perfectly diced. I suppose some find this an acceptable, time-saving substitute. I wouldn't think to spend $$ on that, but the eggs are a different story for me. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

                              1. re: lynnlato
                                Morganna Feb 19, 2009 04:47 AM

                                Yeah, I think it might matter where your skills are, too. Some people might be less comfortable chopping stuff than others. For me chopping up some veg for something is no biggie, and I'm not likely to buy chopped veggies. However, I -do- buy washed and mixed salad greens (well, did when we ate salads which we don't so much now because of tummy things), because keeping the mix of greens around in my fridge wasn't really working for me and it made me much more likely to serve salad instead of, say, a potato. :)

                                1. re: Morganna
                                  lynnlato Feb 19, 2009 01:06 PM

                                  Speaking of tummy things, those pre-washed and preserved bagged salad mixes do evil things to my tummy. I think its the preservatives.

                                  1. re: lynnlato
                                    alkapal Feb 19, 2009 02:46 PM

                                    one speck of dark, wilted lettuce leaf among the many green leaves will get me! happens in restaurants, too.

                                    1. re: alkapal
                                      lynnlato Feb 19, 2009 05:05 PM

                                      LOL! Yep, happens to me w/ restaurant salads also -aaaarrrrrgh.

                                    2. re: lynnlato
                                      Whosyerkitty Feb 20, 2009 03:16 PM

                                      I buy bagged lettuce because I like the mixture and buying all those lettuces for two people would be expensive and would never last. The ones I buy (at a produce market, not a grocery store) are usually organic. For some reason, it's cheaper, too. I guess they have to move it. So, check the bag. Or maybe it's one of the lettuces. I cannot eat broccoli or bananas because they do evil things to me, but nothing else.

                                      1. re: Whosyerkitty
                                        lynnlato Feb 20, 2009 04:01 PM

                                        Ooh, good idea Wyk, thanks. I'll check Earthfare and see if they carry organic bagged lettuce. Why didn't I think of that? Although, I have a family of 4 so we go through heads of romaine pretty easily. But again, sometimes the evils of convenience seep in and tempt me. :)

                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                          Whosyerkitty Feb 20, 2009 04:52 PM

                                          I use spring or Italian mixes with several lettuces that would COST if I bought them each and I would have lettuces coming out of my ears. But I like the variety and blend of flavors.

                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                            kchurchill5 Feb 21, 2009 06:37 AM

                                            Tried grilled romaine, absolutely, just on a grill pan or grill outside. Brush with olive oil a little salt and pepper and then serve with your favorite dressing. I love a good home made or bottled blue cheese and a fresh balsamic vinaigrette. Cut length wise in half. Then grill on the bottom first 1-2 minutes, then the cut side 1-2 minutes, then flip back over and set on a piece on aluminum foil if using a outside grill and top the cut side of the romaine with some grated parm and some dried bread crumbs, drizzle a little olive oil and cover just to melt the cheese. Serve with dressing.

                                            Amazing 5 minute salad and so different. You can easily leave out the bread crumbs and cheese if you want ... for me it really just makes it different and unique.

                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                              lynnlato Feb 21, 2009 12:39 PM

                                              THAT sounds wonderful! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                kchurchill5 Feb 21, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                Welcome it is a favorite of mine and several I passed in on to.

                                          2. re: Whosyerkitty
                                            Morganna Feb 21, 2009 03:59 AM

                                            Oh our tummy things are just because we've had surgery, and our stomachs are much smaller, and sometimes certain foods do odd things. Greens seem to be one of those things for me (anyway, not so much for my husband). But it's been a while since I've had salad, so I"m thinking of giving it another try. :)

                                            1. re: Morganna
                                              Pylon Feb 21, 2009 04:52 AM

                                              I don't like to buy bagged lettuce if I can help it, but I've noticed the store we frequent often has the same mix or something similar on the salad bar. And since they charge by weight, lettuce and mixes from the salad bar are pretty cheap. Cheaper than in the bag, in fact. So I can get what I want in the right amount and pay less.

                                              1. re: Pylon
                                                alkapal Feb 21, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                i always do that calculation too, esp. for things like the chopped green bell peppers, and the like. to buy ONE bell pepper yesterday, the price was $1.79. I grew up in produce-rich florida, so that price i simply cannot pay -- and the same for the supposedly "vine ripe" tomatoes. well, folks, they all ripen on a vine. but if they're really ripened *properly* on the vine, they ain't gonna ship anywhere and stay in decent shape!

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  lynnlato Feb 21, 2009 12:41 PM

                                                  I've noticed the bell peppers at Trader Joe's are much cheaper than my grocery store. I also like their duo of grapes - it's nice to sometimes have a little bit bunch of green and red grapes.

                                            2. re: Whosyerkitty
                                              kchurchill5 Feb 21, 2009 06:34 AM

                                              I do the same when I need enough for just a couple of nights. If buying for a big salad and company I buy individually. I find those In I can use for a couple dinners and lunch and it holds up well. I like the organic as well if I can.

                                  2. enbell Feb 18, 2009 07:21 AM

                                    You know, this thread has made me think about more about the eggs an ready to eat produce being discussed in this thread. In other threads we often chastise the junk food junkies, school cafeterias that have few healthy options, and neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food thereby relegating people to convenience food, often resulting in poor health consequences. I completely agree that small bag of baby carrots........
                                    1. doesn't taste as good a carrot sticks one slices themselves
                                    2. are completely cost ineffective
                                    3. likely contain certain additives definitely not found in a whole plain carrot.
                                    BUT, I think if bags of pre-cut baby carrots replaced half of the bags of Dorritos in American homes today, it would probably be a good thing. For all the complaints we have about the way the majority of America eats, baby carrotts and ready to eat hard boiled eggs aren't high on my list at least.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: enbell
                                      chowser Feb 18, 2009 08:11 AM

                                      I agree. There are better foods and we know it tastes better if fresh but the question is what is it replacing? I'm not a big fan of bagged salads but know if I have some in the house, my kids do eat it. Bagged salads are far better than junk food. Americans have increased spinach intake more than three fold since bagged spinach has come out and I don't think that's a bad thing.

                                      1. re: enbell
                                        alwayscooking Feb 18, 2009 10:30 AM

                                        Agreed enbell that any prepared 'real-ish' food is so much better than those dark and dangerous center grocery aisles. What does concern me is that there seems be be a dramatic and wide disconnect form the food we put into our mouths and where it came from. Do people buy precut because they don't know how to prepare a raw veg? Are the eggs preboiled because of lack of knowledge (yes - from some of the posts)? Why can't people wash their own greens? Or require a salad kit (or a casserole kit)?

                                        We are only talking about preparing simple foods here - the basics needed to then turn them in combination into real meals that are cost effective and nutritious. Given practice a meal that comes out of basic ingredients takes not much longer than a meal mix.

                                        1. re: alwayscooking
                                          enbell Feb 18, 2009 10:48 AM

                                          I concur. In fact, someone asked a few days ago how long it takes to peel carrots and chop into sticks. Last night I peeleda 2 # bag of whole carrots, threw some in a stir fry, and bagged the rest for use throughout the week in wait. for. it...less than 10 minutes. And in a side by side comparison, those babys lose out every time!
                                          But I stand by hope that bags of baby carrots soon replace their orange colored friends (cheetos/dorritos) in american kitchens everywhere (Within reason, of course)!

                                      2. scubadoo97 Feb 17, 2009 05:10 PM

                                        So what's the difference between these and a tray of pre-cut vegetables that are sold in the grocery store. How hard is it to cut up some celery and carrots.

                                        It's all about convenience. Some people find making a proper cooked hard boiled egg a challange and would rather not have to cook if it's ready made. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't sell them.

                                        1. Morganna Feb 17, 2009 04:30 AM

                                          When I'm off somewhere on business or there's a morning meeting and I haven't had the time to really prepare, and I don't want a lot of carbs for breakfast, these peeled, cooked hard boiled eggs are a blessing. They're wildly expensive (as compared to making my own at home), but that's why convenience food is more expensive, for the convenience of it. :)

                                          They're not just for bachelors, I've had several situations where things like that meant the difference between a carb-induced coma at a boring presentation and being able to actually pay attention and getting at least -something- from the meetings. :)

                                          1. lynnlato Feb 17, 2009 03:04 AM

                                            I love these peeled, cooked eggs. If I'm pressed for time I'll pick up a dozen of these and whip deviled eggs in 10 mins. to take to a picnic. They are perfectly cooked and it's an easy side for a potluck. I also sometimes use them to add to salads, make egg salad, etc. I don't think it's a matter of deteriorated cooking skills(atleast not in my case) - just a matter of convenience. :)

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: lynnlato
                                              alkapal Feb 17, 2009 04:14 AM

                                              i thought of the threads where people have all these problems boiling and peeling eggs.

                                              i have no problem with those peeled, cooked eggs as convenience food.

                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                q
                                                queencru Feb 18, 2009 05:02 AM

                                                I think they're a good alternative if you need to make deviled eggs. I know it can be hard to get them to come out with nice yellow yolks and have a shell that comes off easily without ripping off part of the whites. I can't say I ever get gray yolks, but I still have problems getting the shell to come out without difficulty.

                                                1. re: queencru
                                                  lynnlato Feb 18, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                  Yep, sometimes I have trouble w/ the peel. I'm not big on peeling eggs. While I don't, but many folks do have problems w/ discolored yolks. Like alkapal said, it's a harmless convenience food. There are far more offensive items stocked on grocery store shelves.

                                                  1. re: queencru
                                                    alwayscooking Feb 18, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                    Use older eggs - the white shrinks with time away from the shell. Always start in cold water, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat and let stand 12-15 depending on desired hardness. Immediately hit with cold water and begin to peel under the faucet. I've rarely had a problem.

                                                    Grey eggs are usually from overcooking - the sulfur migrates from center to the surface of the yolk.

                                                    One further tip if making deviled eggs: lay the eggs on their sides for a bit - this will better center the yolks.

                                                    1. re: alwayscooking
                                                      Das Ubergeek Feb 23, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                      Just a pet peeve here -- in these parts (SoCal), water is a pretty precious resource. Peeling eggs under running water is unnecessary and wastes gallons of the stuff. Peel as best you can and then rub gently in a small bowl of water to work off the remaining shards.

                                                      You're spot on for the directions, though -- I find the ideal egg is 12 minutes in the boiled water for medium eggs, 15 for large, 17-18 for jumbo.

                                                      And if you have to start from new eggs, leave them out on the counter overnight. One day on a counter is equivalent to a week in the fridge.

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                        alwayscooking Feb 23, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                        Thanks for reminding me about the water - it's a precious resource everywhere. (PS I turn off the water when I brush my teeth and (TMI) I don't always flush). And I didn't think about leaving the eggs out for a bit - good idea, thanks.

                                                2. viperlush Feb 16, 2009 07:13 PM

                                                  After a couple weeks of hotel room breakfasts of pastries and yogurt I would have loved a bag of the preboiled eggs and some precooked bacon.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: viperlush
                                                    l
                                                    Lizard Feb 16, 2009 09:59 PM

                                                    Exactly-- think about how many 'what can I bring to the office' and 'what can I bring to my hotel room' threads there are ready made non-processed foods? I've not bought them, but would embrace these under certain circumstances.

                                                    1. re: viperlush
                                                      chowser Feb 17, 2009 01:32 PM

                                                      You're not missing much. The hotels I've stayed in recently have had them and they're terrible, overcooked rubber. I stick with yogurt and cereal.

                                                    2. monku Feb 16, 2009 06:30 PM

                                                      Sounds stupid, but prepared foods are a big profit margin items for supermarkets.

                                                      At Japanese markets I've seen individual servings of cooked rice you pop in the microwave to reheat.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: monku
                                                        Caitlin McGrath Feb 18, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                        Frozen, cooked microwavable rice packed in serving sizes sold by Trader Joe's is a product I've seen raves for here on Chowhound.

                                                      2. s
                                                        smartie Feb 16, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                        I find that ready made mashed potatoes is incredible, but there you go. Really not difficult to peel and boil then mash spuds.

                                                        Then we have cut and cleaned celery, peeled and sliced carrots, cut up broccoli and cauliflour etc etc. yes convenient but .............

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: smartie
                                                          Whosyerkitty Feb 16, 2009 06:32 PM

                                                          The only thing like that I buy is those carrot chips. They're good for snacks and school lunches and I am simply not doing that. Already dyed Easter eggs is just...weird. that's the fun in it. I would be more concerned about the freshness of pre-boiled eggs.

                                                          The advantage of mashed potatoes is a time thing and they're far better than instant.

                                                          1. re: smartie
                                                            j
                                                            Judith Feb 16, 2009 06:35 PM

                                                            Cut cleaned celery and peeled carrots are handy when you're packing kids' lunches. I guess it's better to eat vegetables than not and if it's a convenience to buy them pre-cut and you're willing to pay for it, I can't see any harm. But hard-boiled eggs??!! That really does seem a little crazy. I suppose that if you consider that we all pay for bottled water, which is apparently mostly tap water in bottles, they can sell us anything.

                                                            1. re: Judith
                                                              Whosyerkitty Feb 17, 2009 07:29 PM

                                                              I don't buy bottled water, but it's for environmental reasons, not economical. Biggest landfill filler right now and dreadful for the sea.

                                                            2. re: smartie
                                                              alwayscooking Feb 16, 2009 06:53 PM

                                                              Ok - I understand being pressed for time. For me though, the loss of vitamins in the pre-cut veggies along with the extra handling and the chlorine rinse, aren't worth the trade-off. And instant potatoes just don't taste right (and that's not talking about the ingredients (potatoes, mono and diglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bisulfite, citric acid and mixed tocopherols). Lastly, pre-made mashed potatoes just can't compare with the real milk and butter we use - and we probably use a lot less salt.

                                                              How much time does it take to cut up vegetables? Maybe it's just a matter of practice.

                                                              1. re: alwayscooking
                                                                danhole Feb 17, 2009 12:36 PM

                                                                Last Thanksgiving I was at the store and this elderly man was wandering around bewildered. I asked if I could help him, and he was looking for pre-cut celery and onions for dressing. I pointed towards it, and he told me, practically in tears, that his wife wanted to keep making her traditional dressing but had gotten too weak to do all the chopping on her own, so he was trying to help. I thought that was so sweet!

                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                  alwayscooking Feb 17, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                                  Ahhh - very nice and a great use for them.

                                                                  1. re: danhole
                                                                    s
                                                                    small h Feb 17, 2009 01:36 PM

                                                                    Why didn't he just chop the vegetables for her? People are so weird.

                                                                    1. re: small h
                                                                      danhole Feb 17, 2009 01:56 PM

                                                                      He was pretty dang old, and I'll bet he didn't know his way around the kitchen, He sure didn't know his way around the grocery store! That generation was of the mind that the woman was in the kitchen and the man was not. If my mother in law had died before my father in law he would have starved to death without help. Luckily that didn't happen.

                                                                      1. re: danhole
                                                                        s
                                                                        small h Feb 17, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                                        I can absolutely see that side of it. But this would be a great opportunity for the Mrs. to pass on some of her skills to the Mr., which would make him more self-sufficient and probably give her a sense of accomplishment as well. Next time you see this guy, have him call me. No one should die without learning to chop an onion.

                                                                        1. re: small h
                                                                          alwayscooking Feb 17, 2009 03:09 PM

                                                                          If he couldn't see the veggies in the store - do you trust him with a knife? Although it would be good if he had some knife skills necessary to feed himself.

                                                              2. enbell Feb 16, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                                Already hard boiled and already dyed eggs come out around Easter in dozen packs as well.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: enbell
                                                                  c
                                                                  chilihead Feb 18, 2009 05:05 AM

                                                                  Do they have GSP signals so they are easier to find?

                                                                  1. re: chilihead
                                                                    enbell Feb 18, 2009 07:05 AM

                                                                    If you mean GPS, then I bet that will be the next addition!

                                                                    1. re: enbell
                                                                      hill food Feb 18, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                                      on a similar note, don't some new microwaves come with UPC scanners to auto set time and temp?

                                                                2. alwayscooking Feb 16, 2009 05:39 PM

                                                                  The end of the world was near when I first saw salad 'kits' to feed a family of four in the vegetable section. I haven't ventured down most of the center aisles in years - I'm afraid! What do people EAT?

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: alwayscooking
                                                                    Whosyerkitty Feb 16, 2009 05:59 PM

                                                                    oh no no no, good GAWD, no.

                                                                    1. re: alwayscooking
                                                                      Das Ubergeek Feb 23, 2009 12:20 PM

                                                                      You know what, honestly, I've bought and continue to buy those kits, usually the Mexican Caesar salad one. Can I make it? Of course I can... but two things make me buy them: they're great for after my fitness boot camp when all I want to do is dump things in a bowl and take a fork to them, and the scalability -- I would have to buy a block of cheese for an ounce or two of cheese, a packet of 36 tortillas for one tortilla (which I would have to cut into strips and fry in oil), and a bottle of dressing or else make my own.

                                                                      Is it more expensive? Of course... but honestly, $3 to be able to come home, dump and stir and eat in front of the TV when I've been out of the house for 13-14 hours is sometimes not too much to pay.

                                                                      Feed a family of four, though, with that little bag? That's enough for two people to have a light supper if you extend it with a little protein (and, again, I'm not ashamed to say I've bought TJ's "just chicken").

                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                        kchurchill5 Feb 23, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                                        Good for you. Hey, we are all stressed time consumed. Yeah, I've done that added a pre roasted chicken and with the left over chicken sandwiches for lunch or dinner the next night. Add some ice cream sundaies and dinner with a nice chunk of bread. Nothing wrong. It may cost more, but I bet cheaper than take out and way better with leftovers.

                                                                    2. v
                                                                      Val Feb 16, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                      sad...I think the only thing that tops that are those "uncrustables" -- store-bought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...things have become pretty horrid if folks can't even make their own pb & j.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Val
                                                                        enbell Feb 16, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                        I was shocked when I saw those. A few of my coworkers use them regularly for snacks, I just don't get it because last time I checked PB&J's were pretty dang easy to make, but also these pre made quasi-facsimiles are _not_ cheap.

                                                                        1. re: enbell
                                                                          Pylon Feb 16, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                                          Yeah, but they come wrapped in plastic! How are you supposed to wrap them in plastic at home? You can't just buy plastic bags for home use, can you?

                                                                          Plus, they remove the crust? What kind of crazy voodoo is that?

                                                                          1. re: Pylon
                                                                            alkapal Feb 17, 2009 01:27 AM

                                                                            pylon! you are too funny.

                                                                            in my mind, i heard the voice of "cirroc" (Kee-Rock) the "unfrozen cave man lawyer" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfrozen...
                                                                            "your technology frightens and confuses me...." <as he's on his cell phone.>

                                                                            1. re: Pylon
                                                                              w
                                                                              wolfmonk Feb 23, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                              Funny!

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